HPD chief supports officer in shooting
Self-defense was warranted, he says
Honolulu Police Chief Boisse Correa defended an officer who shot a man three times -- twice in the head -- after he allegedly lunged at the officer and a security guard with a 10-inch knife Tuesday night.
"All of the information we have received so far indicates that the officer responded as he was trained to do," Correa said yesterday at a news conference.
"As long as the officer's life is in danger or any member of the community's life is in danger, they are trained to use whatever force is necessary to stop the threat," he said.
The suspect, a man in his 30s, has been tentatively identified by police. He was taken to the Queen's Medical Center where he remains in critical but stable condition, Correa said.
Police have opened a first-degree attempted murder case and two second-degree attempted murder cases against the suspect, who also had a 3- to 5-inch dagger tucked under his belt, police said.
The patrol officer, assigned to the Downtown-Chinatown district with two years of service, was placed on paid administrative leave, standard procedure in all such cases. Police Internal Affairs also has begun an investigation into whether the use of deadly force was justified.
This was the first shooting of the year by a Honolulu police officer.
The incident took place about 10:20 p.m. Tuesday outside Furniture Haven, a used-furniture store at 945 Queen St.
Police said a Victoria Ward security guard had reported a suspicious person in a parked vehicle on Queen Street who had been seen earlier looking into parked cars in a Ward Avenue parking lot.
A police officer accompanied the security guard and approached the suspect in the parked vehicle, police said.
After the two identified themselves to the suspect, the man got out of the car with a hunting knife with a 10-inch blade in his hand, police said. The police officer and the security guard ordered the man to put the knife down, Correa said.
"The suspect then raised the knife over his head and lunged toward the officer and the private security (officer)," Correa said.
The officer shot and struck the man once, he said. "However, the man did not stop. He continued to move forward in a threatening manner with the knife and was shot a second time, at which time he fell to the ground," Correa said.
The man was hit once in the upper left leg and twice in the head. Correa said he did not know which wound happened first.
Police believe the second and third shots were fired in rapid succession, Assistant Chief Glen Kajiyama said.
Dale McShane, a Furniture Haven employee, said he saw a truck parked in a parking lot next to the store with two men inside acting suspiciously between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m., when he left the store.
When he returned about 10:30 p.m., the yellow police tape was already up, and there was a pool of blood in front of the store. McShane said the Victoria Ward security guard said the car next to the truck had been broken into.